‘From things that have happened and from things as they exist and from all things that you know and all those you cannot know, you make something through your invention that is not a representation but a whole new thing truer than anything true and alive, and you make it alive, and if you make it well enough, you give it immortality. That is why you write and for no other reason that you know of. But what about all the reasons that no one knows?’ ~ Ernest Hemingway
I have always been a slow reader so I choose my books carefully. I wasn’t the type of child who, when told to turn out the lights, read under the covers by torchlight. But I did read a lot.
During high school I didn’t seem to have time to read except for the set books on the school syllabus. But I have to admit that I was boy crazy at the time and only had eyes for them.
When I left school and went to Art School I became a voracious reader once again. My favourite authors were Franz Kafka, Jean Paul Satre, Simone de Beauvoir, Herman Hesse, Gunther Grass, Oscar Wilde, James Baldwin, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham and many more. These books had a great influence on my thinking, setting me up to become a writer, even though I didn’t know it then.
Once I find an author I like, I want to read as many of their novels as I can. At the moment I’m crazy for Joyce Carol Oates and her thoughts and words. And now that I can download audio books from the internet or borrow them from the library, I get through many more books these days listening on my ipod.
One of the writers I had a crush on was Ernest Hemingway. I read most of his books until I discovered that he loved killing animals just for fun.
Hemingway’s quote at the beginning of this post is one of my favourites out of all author quotes and came from a Paris Post interview. You can read it here A conversation in a Madrid café, May 1954
At the moment I’m reading:
A non fictional book for my WIP. Woman on the Goldfields by Emily Skinner which is a wonderful first hand account of arriving in rough old Melbourne town and travelling to meet her fiance in the goldfields at Beechworth.
A fiction paper back The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova – a very sophistocated take on the subject of Dracula and vampires. It is thick and the print is small so it’s taking me a while but I am enjoying it.
Tim Winton’s Land’s Edge. I love all Tim Winton’s work.
Audio book The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery. This is a humorous, whimsical, beautiful book. I was taken with the language, the ideas and of course the story. Barbery is Professor of Philosophy so in some parts particularly in the beginning, it sounded like part of a thesis. But then she found her storytelling fingers and she was off again. The only other criticism I have is that the twelve year old girl in it, even though she was supposed to be very clever, was just a little too knowing for such a young thing. But these are small criticisms. I loved the audio so much that I am planning to buy a hard copy of the book.
Joyce Carol Oates A Widow’s Story. Tragic, sad, thought provoking as only Joyce Carol Oates can do. This is a real life account of the deep love she and her husband shared together for 47 years until his sudden death in 2008.
How nice it is to find an author you love. At the moment I have a crush on Joyce Carol Oates.